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Nathan Cleary to miss start of Panthers 2022 season

Penrith Panthers have suffered a minor setback before the start of the NRL season with star halfback Nathan Cleary ruled out for at least for the first three weeks as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding Cleary’s return for round one as they prepare to face off against a strong Manly Warringah Sea Eagles outfit at BlueBet Stadium on Thursday 10 March.

Cleary dislocated his shoulder helping NSW to a series win in Game Two of the Ampol State of Origin series last year but postponed surgery to return and steer the Panthers to a premiership win.

He had surgery in the off season and coach Ivan Cleary told they would play it safe.

“With a long and challenging season ahead of us, it’s critical that we give Nathan the time he needs to return to his physical best,” Cleary said.

“While it’s obviously a difficult decision and of course we would have loved to have him out there, we believe this will ensure Nathan has the best opportunity to play throughout the year at the level he demands of himself.”

The man likely tipped to be Cleary’s replacement is Sean O’Sullivan, who won the 2016 SG Ball Grand Final with the Panthers. After leaving the Panthers, O’Sullivan has made 21 NRL appearances playing for the Roosters, Broncos and Warriors.

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